Mike and Ray Mentzer |
Jun 15 2001
ROLLING HILLS ESTATES, Calif. (AP) -- Bodybuilder Mike Mentzer, who
retired when he lost the Mr. Olympia contest to Arnold
Schwarzenegger in 1980, died of an apparent heart attack. He was 49.
Mentzer's body was found Sunday by his brother Raymond, also a title-winning
competitive bodybuilder, in the apartment they shared in Rolling Hills Estates,
said David Rice of L.R. Rice Mortuary in Torrance.
The cause of Mike Mentzer's death was not disclosed, pending a coroner's
investigation. He had a history of heart trouble.
After making funeral arrangements for his brother, Ray Mentzer's body was found
in bed at the apartment. He was declared dead Monday, about 24 hours after his
Rice said Ray Mentzer was a dialysis patient who looked "quite distressed''
when he came to make funeral arrangements. His death also was being
investigated by the coroner's office, spokesman Scott Carrier said.
In the late 1970s, Michael Mentzer created shock waves in the bodybuilding
industry with the notion that six-day-a-week training was unnecessary. He
won converts by winning several contests, including first place in the medium
weight division at the 1976 Mr. America contest and first in the heavyweight
division of the 1979 Mr. Olympia championships.
Born near Philadelphia on Nov. 15, 1951, Mike Mentzer started lifting weights
at the age of 11 and competed a year later in his first lifting contest. He
later competed in Mr. America, Mr. World, Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia
contests. He placed second overall Mr. Olympia in 1979.
In 1980, he lost the Mr. Olympia contest to Schwarzenegger and stated publicly
that he felt he was robbed.
"We may be able to send a man to the moon, but when it comes to recognizing the
rightful winner of the 1980 Olympia, mankind is surely arrested in its
development,'' Mentzer said later.
Mike's younger brother, Ray, was born on Aug. 2, 1953. In 1978 he won the Mr.
USA title and a year later, in 1979, the Mr. America title. Later the same
year he placed second in the Mr. Universe competition.
The Mentzer brothers were both single and their parents are deceased.
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